Tom Collins Recipe With Sweet And Sour Mix

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Tips From The Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1 For a crowd, double or triple ingredients. In large pitcher, stir together simple syrup, gin and lemon juice refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve, add club soda and garnishes.
  • tip 2 For an extra dash of color and sweetness, add a splash of syrup from maraschino cherry jar to each glass.

The Secret To A Sublime Tom Collins

The difference between a deliciously passable Tom Collins and a memorable one might just come down to moderation, specifically when it comes to sweetening and chilling.

If you over-sweeten, youre overpowering the beauty of a good gin. If you over-dilute your mix by over-shaking with ice, youll have a drink that is both less fizzy and less distinct in taste.

  • Sweeten to your taste, but Id say less is more.
  • Shake your drink for no more than five seconds just long enough to chill.

A Quick Note On Clear Ice

As you can see from these photographs, we didnt use normal ice cubes with this Tom Collins cocktail: we made it with clear ice! Clear ice is artisanal ice used in cocktails because of its crystal clear look and beautiful organic shapes. You can make clear ice at home and its so easy! All you need is a small cooler and 24 hours, and your cocktails will look extra stunning. Heres How to Make Clear Ice.

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Gin And Sparkling Water

Since the gin is the foundation of this cocktail and the club soda is the finish, it is important to choose tasty, high-quality products. Regular club soda will work fine, but for a subtler sparkle with a hint of minerals, try using Perrier or San Pellegrino sparkling mineral waters. Either choice will add a bit of sophistication to an otherwise simple drink.

The original Tom Collins might have used Hollan Gin, Jenever, but London dry gin was soon the spirit of choice specifically Old Tom gin. So long as the spirit you use in your cocktails is high quality, the drink, and the drinker, will benefit from it. Nonetheless, different gins have different flavor profiles, so spend some time sampling a variety of top-shelf gins to determine your personal taste.

Here is a list of highly recommended choices:

  • Hendricks 88 proof gin: A unique bottle and light juniper, orange and coriander scents that refresh as you imbibe. A thicker mouthfeel than most gins.
  • Bombay Sapphire: A premium London dry gin that is famously aromatic and smooth.
  • Bombay, the regular version: A more reasonably priced but excellent gin.
  • Tanqueray: A good substitute when you don’t have Tanqueray Ten
  • Tanqueray Ten: Top shelf Tanqueray that is a taste experience you must have.
  • Tanqueray Rangpur: A fine gin with a hint of lime flavor to add another flavor profile to the juniper berries. Ideal for a mixed drink like the Tom Collins.

This Post Has 15 Comments

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  • Crystal 26 Aug 2010Reply

    I had to laugh at your post because I thought I was the only one who had such long-lasting effects after a night of drinking . It only seems to get worse as I get older. Anyway, I will have to give this drink a try it sounds and looks good! Thanks

  • bakedbree 26 Aug 2010Reply

    It is horrible!! It does get worse as I get older. I just cant seem to hang anymore.

  • Emily @ The Happy Home 26 Aug 2010Reply

    yum!we found a half-way decent store bought sour mix a while ago, but this just sounds like a much better idea and somewhat less expensive, given that seasonal citrus is SO cheap! sounds so good!do you top your collinses with soda?

  • bakedbree 26 Aug 2010Reply

    It was so good. I did not top mine with seltzer but I should have. I like bubbles.

  • Dangler 28 Aug 2010Reply

    The soda topper would have been divine with this little numba! And, since the table was sans tablescape I can hardly call you out on Sandra Lee action. Totally a delish and refreshing little drinky!

  • bakedbree 29 Aug 2010Reply

    Yes it would, I totes forgot!

  • Andrew 29 Jan 2011Reply

    this is so much less expensive. and more ingrediance than most but still have orange juice around the house. awsome, my mom used to keep cerial and pop tarts around for us sop she could wake up late though, it works out

  • bakedbree 29 Jan 2011Reply

    it takes so much better than the bottled mix. It is so fresh tasting.

  • bakedbree 24 Apr 2011Reply

    Thank you Ian! I am so glad that you like the site. Welcome.

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    The Memory Trick For Collins

    For the most part, Collins drinks follow suit and define the liquor to use in the name. However, there are two that do not, but they’re easy to remember with a little name association.

    • The Tom Collins is made with gin because it was originally made with OldTom Gin.
    • For the John Collins drink, John has many friends like Jack and Jim , both great candidates for a John Collins.

    This Vodka Collins Is My New Go To Cocktail

    Ive been making Vodka Collins with my homemade sweet and sour mix, which FYI, is divine. Its fresh and tasty and doesnt have any weird stuff like the neon yellow stuff from the liquor store bottle. Of course, dont let it stop you if all you have around is store bought sweet and sour mix.

    This vodka collins tastes great either way!

    This is super refreshing for a summer cocktail, but I drink these all year round.

    Give these a try and let me know what you think! I bet youll find yourself a new favorite drink recipe, too!

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    Homemade Sweet And Sour Mix

    I am not much of a drinker these days. I will indulge in a cold beer every once in awhile or a glass of wine, but as far as cocktails go, I usually say no. You see, my hangovers have become disproportionate to the amount that I drink. A two-cocktail-evening seems to translate to a two day hangover. No fun when you have responsibilities and cannot sleep until noon and then wake up and get french fries . It is a completely different beast when you have 3 little people that need to be fed upon opening their eyes. Not fair is it? So when we are out and I want a mixed drink I usually order a Vodka Collins . It is fruity and refreshing without being over sweet. And these days I only order one.

    I was leafing through my good ol the other day and came across a recipe for homemade sweet and sour mix and knew that a fresh version would be far superior to the bar mix that you get in the mixer section of the grocery store. I was absolutely right. I made these for a little get together the other night I had these all ready so when my peeps walked through the door after a nail-biting 4 year soccer game, it was game on. I got the thumbs up from my guests and will never buy mediocre sweet and sour mix again.

    2/3 cup superfine or bartenders sugar 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice 2/3 cup lime juice 6 Tablespoons fresh orange juice

    **This makes 2 cups of sweet and sour mix**

    Squeeze all of your juices.

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    How to Make a Tom Collins | Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe

    To prevent the drink from getting too diluted, you can build this drink in the glass. Simply pour the gin, lemon juice, and sugar into a collins glass filled with ice. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, and top off with club soda. Done.

    Garnish is traditionally a lemon twist, but these days you are likely to find lime and/or a cherry floating in your Tom Collins. An easy detail to customize as you like.

    One step you do not want to forego is the fresh lemon juice. With a handheld manual juicer, this is a quick process and the invigorating taste it adds to the drink is worth the effort. If you will be making a lot of Tom Collins cocktails for a party, you can juice lemons ahead of time and store them in a pourable container, but skip the store-bought sweet and sour mix.

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    Why Is It Called A Tom Collins

    The drink’s name stems from the Tom Collins Hoax of 1874, whereby one person would tell another that someone with that name was speaking ill of him or her at a nearby bar or business, sending that person off to find such an individual and seek revenge. A clever bartender in New York decided to deliver a drink to someone looking for a so-called Tom Collins at his bar, and the name stuck.

    How To Garnish A Tom Collins

    You can take a classic approach or add some sophistication garnishing your drink. Below I outline three options, but, of course, feel free to come up with your own personal favorite.

    • Tuck a lemon wedge or wheel along the side of the glass
    • Spear a cherry through a folded up lemon or orange wheel
    • Dip a thinly sliced lemon wheel in sugar and char it in a hot skillet until the sugar starts to caramelize around the edges

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    How To Use Homemade Sour Mix

    Limoncello Tom Collins

    There’s a whole family of drinks called “sours” that are liquor plus some form of sugar and citrus. You can make any of these drinks using your homemade sour mixand they will be better for it. Mix equal parts whiskey and sour mix and serve it over ice for a whiskey sour. Or use the same formula to make a daiquiri, using rum instead of whiskey. Try it for margaritas or sidecars, adding Cointreau or triple sec and tweaking the formula to your taste. If you’re feeling fancy, shake up a couple ounces each of pisco and sour mix along with an egg white and a few drops of bitters to make a pisco sour. For something a little lighter, try a Tom Collins by pouring a shot each of gin and sour mix and topping off with club soda.

    • 1 cup water

    • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

    • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

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    Two Ways To Sweeten This Tom Collins

    The Tom Collins is sweeter than just about any of our cocktail recipes! Because its Here at A Couple Cooks, weve experimented with a few different cocktail sweeteners. If youre looking for a naturally sweet alternative, weve got your back! Heres what we like to use:

    • Maple syrup: Alex and I have found that pure maple syrup is a fantastic sweetener. It has a nuanced flavor and gentle way of sweetening drinks. It doesnt taste like maple: it just brings in a light sweet flavor.
    • Simple syrup: Or, go ultra classic and use simple syrup. It takes just 5 minutes to make: heres how to make simple syrup.

    More About Collins Sweet And Sour Mix Recipes


    FromEstimated Reading TimeServings

    • Pour them all in a bowl and whisk until dissolved. Done. Ready for cocktail time? I feel like Sandra Lee.
    • I like my Vodka Collins in a tall glass with lots of ice. Pour in some vodka, a good splosh, and pour over the sweet and sour mix. Give a stir and garnish with a lime slice.

    FromServingsEstimated Reading Time

    • In a shaker half filled with ice cubes, add Tanqueray London Dry, lemon or lime juice, and sweet & sour mix.

    FromTotal TimeCategoryCalories

    • Place 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
    • Transfer simple syrup to a mason jar or other airtight container. Add 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup lime juice. Cover and shake vigorously.





    FromEstimated Reading Time




    FromTotal TimeCategoryCalories


    FromTotal TimeCategoryCalories


    FromCuisineTotal TimeCategoryCalories



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    Tom Collins Drink Recipe

    The Tom Collins is a very simple drink with a bold, straightforward flavor thats why its been such an enduring classic. Its essentially a fizzy gin lemonade , ideal for sipping through a straw on hot summer days. This drink is best served in a tall, cool mug.

    The recipe calls for London dry gin, and Beefeater makes a great Tom Collins. It enhances the tartness of the drink. This old recipe is wonderfully balanced to give you just the right amount of sweet, sour and herbal. Its as refreshing as any non-alcoholic beverage could be, especially on a hot day.

    If its a really hot day, you might want to serve it in a Julep or mule mug like the copper mug I use for my Moscow Mule. Those are designed to keep drinks cold longer, especially out in the hot sun. Or you can serve it in a chilled glass or beer mug.

    You can enjoy this drink with any meal youd have with a lemonade. Its great with burgers and fries, or any kind of deli sandwich youd like. One really awesome combination Id recommend is a Tom Collins with a good carne asada, like this one from Thoughtful Women. Its mainly spicy, but also citrus, and the flavors are perfect with this classic sweet and sour lemon cocktail.

    Did You Make This Recipe

    Tom Collins Cocktail Drink Recipe HD

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    Oh hey there!

    Well, hello there! Im Bree Hester, the Boston-based blogger and food photographer here at Baked Bree. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next family adventure.

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    Best Gin For A Tom Collins

    Look for Old Tom gin first, its less spicy and drier than London Dry, it goes very well with fresh citrus, rounding out all edges, while still having some character. Haymans is an affordable option, generally available, and frankly makes for a great Tom Collins. If youre looking for a commonly used gin that is easy to find, try Beefeater.

    How Strong Is A Tom Collins

    As with most soda highballs, the Tom Collins is a light drink. In fact, the majority of wines are stronger than this cocktail. On average, when made with an 80-proof gin, its alcohol content should be in the 9 percent ABV range. That’s perfectly casual and the reason why this has long been a favorite recipe for happy hour.

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    How To Make A Tom Collins

    Vodka collins, Sour mix and Homemade on Pinterest

    A Tom Collins calls for gin as its only base spirit, typically a London Dry like Beefeater. Use Old Tom gin if you have it. If you want to explore gin a little more, try one of these Gin of the Month Clubs where you get to sample craft gin to find your personal favorite.

    The dance partner for gin is fresh lemon juice, with a sweetener like simple syrup or even maple syrup to balance everything out.

    If you want to get creative, you can muddle fresh lemon wedges with granulated or caster sugar, but from there the only trick is to sweeten your cocktail just enough to tone down the citrus, without making a sweet mess of the whole drink.

    Top everything off with just a few ounces of a well-carbonated club soda.

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